TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW)--- As we enter tax season, you may want to think twice before waiting to file your taxes.
The Better Business Bureau and experts said to think of filing your taxes as a race between you and identity thieves.
As soon as you get your W2, Peggy Beasterfeld with Peggy's Tax and Accounting said you should waste no time visiting a tax preparer for many reasons.
"If you get your W2 come on and get them done early, that way they're in that first batch that goes out, so you're able to get your tax return back as soon as possible," she advised.
Procrastination will only lead to a longer wait for your returns Beasterfeld said.
"By the middle of February everybody is so busy and the tax preparers are so busy that you'll be waiting to get in," she pointed out.
Waiting can also put you and your tax returns at risk.
"There's a lot of identity theft out there," Beasterfeld warned.
Experts said scammers target individuals who wait to file, and all they need is your social security number and birthday.
The rest of the information is easy to make up.
"Those that file with the ID theft on them those are usually bogus W2's. You can go online and make W2's," Beasterfeld added.
Here are few tips to protect yourself from identity theft from the Better Business Bureau.
- Never give out your Social Security number to someone you do not know. If you are asked to share it, question why they are wanting it. Don’t be too quick to believe their answers either, especially if they are strangers.
- Shred all paperwork that has your information on it when you are disposing of it.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
- Keep anti-virus and other security software on you electronic devices updated constantly.
She warned that if you become a victim of identity theft, your wait can more than triple.
"If someone else has already filed on that number it's going to take you 6 months to probably get you a refund," she said.
Tax preparers warn that this is something you do not want to wait to do until the April deadline.
"Get your refunds as soon as possible so no one else does," Beasterfeld warned one last time.
Experts say everyone should have a W2 by the end of January.